On Shabbos, former MK Yossi Srid passed away. Yossi Srid was a fierce opponent of Jewish religiousness in Israeli life. Despite this, he maintained close relations with Chabad Shluchim, as well as Rabbi Shlomo Maidanshik A”H.
One Shabbos ten years ago, Shluchim to Venice were surprised to see Knesset Member Yossi Srid – accompanied by his wife and security personnel – enter the Chabad Yeshiva situated in the Jewish Ghetto of Venice. Shliach Rabbi Yitchok Barkahn graciously welcomed him to join the Yeshiva dining hall for seudas Shabbos.
MK Srid requested a Kippa and helped himself to make Kiddush. After tasting the wine, he said: “yesterday was Simchas Torah, and it’s my birthday, and I’m very happy to be here in the Jewish Ghetto with Chabad Chassidim.” All those present burst into a joyous “simon tov umazal tov”, and deep satisfaction was apparent on his face.
While there, MK Srid related that before arriving at the Yeshiva, he attempted to enter the large Sefardic Shul in the Old Ghetto – a large, magnificent structure that is one of the oldest Shul’s in the world, but was met with resistance: a security guard. “I recognize your face but I’m asking for your name, and a condition of entry is that you stay until the end of Davening,” said the guard. “With me you don’t set conditions,” Srid replied. “Let’s go to Chabad – there they won’t make conditions”, he told his wife.
Finishing his story, Srid turned to his hosts, thanked them, wished a Gut Shabbos, and went on his way…
We publish here a letter the Rebbe sent to Mr. Srid from Tishrei 5745, in which the Rebbe confirms receipt of the Pa”n Srid sent, and wishes him “much success in fulfilling his duty that is responsible for the true public good.”